Thursday, August 07, 2008

Some Disturbing Things from Microsoft

Open Source: A 'Growing Challenge' to Microsoft

There's an MS quote that is particularly disturbing to me

"The availability of protocol licenses may enable competitors to develop software products that better mimic the functionality of Microsoft's own products which could result in a reduction in sales of our products."

This is disturbing because it's pits protocol/service interoperability (a user need) against MS's sales (a MS shareholder need). Let's hope this doesn't result in MS pulling back from protocol openness.


Slava Imeshev said...

I would guess is that MS is bothered not by competition, but by unfair competition. Opening protocols would allow others to give out for free [not necessarily better quality] products that MS gets paid for. That would hurt a bunch and would definitely rise questions.

Ed Merks said...


Openness is a such a virtue I don't think anyone can pull back from it. But I suppose one could create an open standard so onerous and complex that implementing it would take a cast of thousands such that only a select few could afford to implement it. You'd still be open while excluding most of the players.

Fortunately, I think it's becoming more and more clear that depending on proprietary technology is in and of itself a risk. It leaves consumers at the mercy of the whims of those who will profit from changing the base out from under you.

Scott Lewis said...

Hi Slava and Ed,

I do hope that both of you are right. Slava...I don't see open protocols as unfair the case of services it just allows interoperability...which is necessary.

Ed...again I do hope you are right, but many have died over-estimating the intelligence of corporations that are sometimes overly sensitive to 'creating shareholder value' rather than creating user value.